My Blood’s Country: Fiona Capp
A long-time admirer of poet Judith Wright’s work, Fiona Capp wrote My Blood’s Country with the intention of tracing the landscape that served as inspiration for most of Wright’s poetry, but also Wright’s experience of it; how it infused the way she saw the world and the people living in it.
In a sort of pilgrimage, Capp physically travels all over Australia, retracing Wright’s steps from her childhood home in New England, to the mountains and rainforests of Queensland, to Wright’s final resting place in Canberra. Through Capp’s anecdotes, research and own encounters, we get an insight into the landscape that shaped both Wright’s poetry and her political activism. Capp writes that her intention was not to worship, but to learn. Her growing frustration with her inability to do so is apparent when she finds so much of the land changed or destroyed from what Wright knew and wrote about – perhaps a perfect analogy to the very ideas Wright was trying to communicate. Capp writes with a high reverence for both her literary hero and the landscapes she visits. There is a lovely, nostalgic feel for place and the environment. The insights into Wright’s beliefs, loves and family relationships are touching without ever falling into sentimentality.
Fans of Wright’s work will find My Blood’s Country satisfying and fascinating, but it is also a great read for anyone with a passing interest in Australia’s landscape and the woman who gave it a voice.